A research project conducted at the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim, (PRO INNO KF0125504UL7), in partnership with the company Eschler Textil, has resulted in an innovation in the field of warp-knitted working clothes. For the first time, warp-knitted fabrics have been developed for making clothes for healthcare workers and doctors which retain their functional properties – especially their smart appearance and high degree of comfort – even after industrial washing. This means that highly functional knitted garments can also be used in the textile leasing business.

Until now, only woven fabrics made of polyester/cotton have been used to make medical clothing, because they are crease-resistant and easy to wash commercially, making them suitable for leasing. The advantages of knitted over woven fabrics lie in better management of perspiration, resulting in their being more comfortable to wear, and in their increased resistance to creasing. For the first time, the newly developed knitted fabrics are able to withstand a realistic number of industrial wash cycles and so are guaranteed suitable for leasing, while at the same time being very comfortable.

The tests carried out on the samples focused mainly on the thermal physiology and skin-sensitivity parameters, strength, resistance to abrasion, self-smoothing characteristics, ability to keep their shape after washing, opacity and tendency to drawn threads. By identifying the fabrics with the best physiological comfort characteristics and those most suitable for industrial washing, design guidelines have been drawn up for producing various versions of functional knitted fabrics.

Manufacturers of professional clothing in the healthcare sector and leasing companies will benefit from the new knitted fabrics. The advantages of knitted over woven fabrics lie in better management of perspiration, resulting in their being more comfortable to wear, and in their increased resistance to creasing.

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